Snyder signs SB 1171 and SB 1175 into law, fucking Michigan workers, and once again illustrating why we need to vote the anti-democratic Republican Party out of existence

I know I should probably be writing about something a little more in my wheelhouse this evening, like Stephen Miller’s spray-on hair, or the fact that Ivanka Trump could very well end up being indicted for the misallocation of donor funds collected for her father’s inauguration, but I feel obligated to at least note the fact that, this past Friday, outgoing Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law two Republican bills that would gut existing minimum wage and paid sick leave laws.

First, here’s the history as I understand it… At some point this past year, a group calling itself One Fair Wage of Michigan proposed raising the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2022, and to $12 an hour by 2024 for tipped workers. As you might imagine, there was a lot of grassroots enthusiasm, and the polling looked good. And, by September, One Fair Wage of Michigan had received approval to begin collecting signatures to put it on the November 2018 ballot… And, had it been on the ballot, along with recreation marijuana and the redrawing of Congressional districts, I have little doubt that it would have passed.

It never made it to the ballot, though.

The Republicans, you see, preempted the citizen-led initiative, by taking the ballot language, and just passing it into law themselves.

I know what you’re thinking… “Since when did Michigan Republicans start caring about minimum wage workers?” Well, I’m sorry to break it to you, but that’s not what motivated their decision to pass the legislation, which they called the Michigan Minimum Wage Increase Initiative. No, they passed it because that was the easiest way to stop the citizen-led initiative, and keep it off the ballot, so that they could kill it later.

You see, if it had passed as a ballot initiative, Republicans would have needed a three-fourths vote in the legislature to amend the legislation, and make it more acceptable to the Michigan Chamber of Commerce and other proponents of cheap-labor. As they passed it themselves, though, all they’d need to change it, or kill it, in the future, was a simple majority. And that’s what just happened. During the current lame duck session, Republicans passed SB 1171 and SB 1175 to roll back their own Michigan Minimum Wage Increase Initiative… Sneaky, right? And, by “sneaky,” I mean, “anti-democratic as fuck.”

So, just to recap… On September 5, 2018, Republicans in Lansing, in hopes of killing the One Fair Wage of Michigan ballot initiative, proposed legislation that would increase the state minimum wage from $9.25 to $10.00 in 2019, $10.65 in 2020, $11.25 in 2021, and $12.00 in 2022. And, starting in 2023, the minimum wage would then be adjusted annually to remain on pace with the consumer price index each year (unless the unemployment rate were to reach 8.5% or higher). The legislation also mandated an increase in the minimum wage for tipped employees from 38% of the minimum wage to 48% percent in 2019, 60% in 2020, 70% in 2021, 80% in 2022, 90% in 2023, and 100% in 2024. And, among other things, the legislation also called for overtime compensation of 150% for employee work in excess of 40 hours during a given workweek… But, as we know, they never intended for any of that to happen.

For what it’s worth, this strategy of theirs wasn’t a huge secret. Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said at the time, “We’ll consider different options and a whole suite of things we think are more friendly to Michigan, to make sure that workers are indeed cared for, and that still provide for economic development moving forward.

While Democrats knew exactly what was going on, and acknowledged the truth of what Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich said when he referred to the Republican “approve and remove” strategy as “undo and screw,” some voted for it anyway, as they believed in the legislation, and perhaps felt that they might be able to keep their conservative counterparts from watering it down after the election. [All 10 Democrats in the Michigan Senate voted against the initial legislation in September, 2018. 21 Democrats in the House, however, voted for it. It would have passed without their votes, however, so it’s not as though it wouldn’t have happened without their support.]

Acknowledging the situation, House Democratic Leader Sam Singh said at the time, “What we’ll do between now and the election is make sure that they commit to not gutting this in lame duck. If they can’t commit to it, then it’s very clear for the voters that the only people who will protect the things that we got today are Democrats.”

Well, the Democrats, for all their efforts, weren’t able to stop it from happening during the Republican’s lame duck assault on working Michigan families. Not only did the original legislation pass on September 5, but SB 1171 and SB 1175, written to water down that initial legislation, passed the Michigan and House and Senate last week, and were just signed into law this past Friday by our craven and cowardly Governor, Rick Snyder… So, now, the minimum wage in Michigan will just go up 23-cents a year, and not reach $12 an hour until 2030.

And, this, my friends, is why we need to vote the Republican Party completely out of existence. They knew that this ballot initiative would pass, and they purposefully interceded to subvert the will of the people, putting the financial interests of their donors above the families of their constituents. This is the Michigan Republican Party, folks. It’s anti-democritic and corporatist to its core, and it needs to be completely eradicated.

[The lead paint portrait of Rick Snyder at the top of the post was painted by Michael Dykehouse.]

This entry was posted in Civil Liberties, Corporate Crime, Michigan, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

19 Comments

  1. Posted December 16, 2018 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    Here are responses from two of our local State Representatives; Yousef Rabhi and Donna Lasinski.

    In the twilight of his administration, Governor Snyder has robbed Michigan families of their freedom to earn a decent living and care for their loved ones. This subversion of our democracy and flagrant disregard of the Michigan constitution marks the end of 8-years of full Republican control in Lansing during which working men and women in Michigan were under constant attack. This is nothing more than the latest power grab on behalf of corporate interests that will ultimately hurt working people.” -Yousef Rabhi

    The people of Washtenaw County sent me to Lansing to be their voice. They don’t deserve to have their voice put down with the callous use of legislative procedure. Our citizens were wrongly denied the right to vote on the minimum wage and earned paid sick leave bills by a cynical, political act of the Legislature. As a small business owner myself, I know strong wages and secure benefits are vital to keep our talent here in Michigan. Our economy depends on the success of our working families, and they should be able to depend on their elected officials to have their backs.” -Donna Lasinski

  2. iRobert
    Posted December 17, 2018 at 4:44 am | Permalink

    Snyder just proves over and over that he’s a wimp and a moron. So it made sense for his campaign slogan to preemptively contradict those obvious flaws. What a pathetic coward. We’ve essentially have had a puddle of jelly for a Governor over the last 8 years. I can’t say the people of Michigan didn’t deserve it, however.

  3. iRobert
    Posted December 17, 2018 at 5:17 am | Permalink

    What? No word from our dreamy representative Irwin? Is he on vacation?

  4. iRobert
    Posted December 17, 2018 at 5:18 am | Permalink

    I’m sorry, I should have said, “our dreamy Senator Irwin.”

  5. iRobert
    Posted December 17, 2018 at 5:29 am | Permalink

    Snyder says the last eight years have been about re-inventing Michigan. I think he might have thought we’d all be driving hover-drones by now, and that’s why we wouldn’t need roads. He’s a beautiful dreamer.

  6. Posted December 17, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    Hello, iRobert. My public commentary as Senator-elect is pasted below. (Like or follow me on FB and/or Twitter!).

    One additional point: as Senator, I will be working with groups to support a new initiative for 2020. I had the pleasure to briefly speak with the leadership of ROC and I think they will continue to focus on Michigan. This isn’t over.

    “Benefiting the wealthy at the expense of the poor and middle class is the one goal that this Governor has relentlessly and successfully pursued.

    First, he reassigned over $1billion annually in tax liability, reducing taxes on the rich while increasing taxes on everybody else (2011).

    Then, his thoroughgoing indifference combined with his strong preference for re-election led to sweeping the Flint Water Crisis under the rug (until it became a total disgrace).

    Now, he caps it off by reducing wages for those earning the minimum and taking away earned sick leave.

    I wish he could have stayed at Gateway.
    https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/michigan/2018/12/14/snyder-michigan-wage-sick-leave/2314127002/

  7. iRobert
    Posted December 17, 2018 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    It’s good to see Senator Irwin is giving us some straight-talk. Thank you for that. I’ll be looking forward to what sort of action the Democrats can deliver to back that talk up.

    After that bi-partisan attempt to blatantly extort the Michigan citizenry a couple years back, I can’t say I’m optimistic. If it were up to me, I would have desolved this disgustingly parasitic and criminal state government decades ago.

  8. Lynne
    Posted December 17, 2018 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Hmmm I remember our legislature doing this with right-to-work and the EMF law right before Michigan voters allowed a Trump victory. Michigan voters need to start voting better.

    This minimum wage stuff leaves me angry at business owners who lobbied against this. I think some demonstrations in front of businesses who contribute money to those lobbying groups might be in order.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted December 17, 2018 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    I recall that they also reversed clean energy standards, Lynne. We need to fix gerrymandering to get better election results, which we have done. So far that hasn’t been screwed up by the lame-duck session. We’ll see…

  10. iRobert
    Posted December 17, 2018 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    As far as I’m concerned, we’ve already reached the point where we should be erecting the guillotines in Lansing.

  11. John Brown
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    iR,
    There are cheaper and more portable alternatives to guillotines available. And every good ole boy with a truck, an atv, and a grudge against women already has 2 or 3.

    https://www.sportsmansguide.com/productlist/guns/rifle/semi-automatic?d=185&c=30&s=706

  12. Lynne
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    I would prefer to work with Jean to end gerrymandering than to break out the guns and guillotines! Jeez

  13. John Brown
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Lynne,

    We collected signatures and knocked doors for Prop 2. Fear not my emails to Gov and reps ommit any references to modern or archaic implements of violence. 2020 has to be another blue wave, and outrageous lame duck crap can help with that.

    On the other hand I find myself preoccupied with how all the unstable nutjobs are going to react when Individual 1 is indicted for treason? The continued low low prices and continued sales slump in the gun industry tells me I’m not unleashing a viral militia movement among liberals. I hope that’s a good thing, still not convinced liberals wouldn’t benefit from overt militant wing.

  14. Lynne
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I expect a fringe minority to get more violent if Individual1 is charged with any crimes. They are already pretty violent. I am not sure liberals arming themselves will help but hey, if it makes you feel better, then go for it.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted December 18, 2018 at 10:42 pm | Permalink

    I spoke too soon. This cleared the Senate and is moving to the house. It would erode the independence of the citizen committee from party influence: https://www.theoaklandpress.com/news/elections/lansing-lawmakers-using-lame-duck-to-undermine-will-of-voters/article_4cfbc970-fe26-11e8-afac-9b9d847365f5.html

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 2:08 pm | Permalink

    Whitmer is pressing Snyder. I have doubts that will be effective. Those Dems (many) who voted for Snyder should be mortified by his legacy and take their lessons. https://www.crainsdetroit.com/government/whitmer-snyder-preserve-executive-powers-veto-lame-duck-bills

  17. Anonymous
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    The Greffs moved to Traverse City to hide.

  18. iRobert
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    I just said the thing about erecting guillotines to illustrate how serious I take their criminality in Lansing. I wouldn’t really think it the best means by which to execute our criminals. I no longer consider Michigan government legitimate. When the state declared that it could dismiss publicly elected municipal officials, it invalidated any and all taxation at that level. It may have in fact invalidated its own legitimacy entirely. I am willing to make that case in court. There are many other issues which may offer opportunities to challenge the legitimacy of Michigan’s state government as well. I’d be interested in testing them all. Michigan, though a beautiful place in many ways, is a disgusting cesspool in terms governance. There are limits to how low a government can degrade ethically and remain legitimate. To suggest there is not such a limit is to suggest no matter how criminal a government becomes, we the citizenry have no right to challenge it. That simply is not acceptable. It is a situation which has never been acceptable to any free person who understands and values that freedom, nor any person who believes in government by the people. Most people lack the understanding necessary to take such a position, but that isn’t anything new or important either. The mindless masses have always been irrelevant in political philosophy. Personally, I would have no problem taking up arms against a government if that government closes off all non-violent, legitimate options to correct it. In fact I would look forward to matching my wits and skills in strategy against the incredibly dumbed-down population of this forsaken cultural shithole. I’m very confident I could inflict massively disproportionate damage in any conflict. I’ve met the enemy, and he is unimaginably stupid.

  19. iRobert
    Posted December 19, 2018 at 8:05 pm | Permalink

    I was told today, by a contact on the inside, that the Snyders will be fleeing to Florida.

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